I did get a call back from my local Humane Society, responding to my request to volunteer some time. I'll be attending their monthly meeting next Monday at the Eden library and find out what I can do to help.
I live in a rural, economically depressed county in North Carolina. Many of the people here earned good money doing factory work. Notice the past tense. A lot of the plants have closed down or drastically reduced their work force and people are hurting. Add in to that our county doesn't have a bus line and transportation is a huge issue. It's at least a 30 minute drive to the bigger cities and with no car or no gas money for a car, finding work out of town is not an option.
But the people in this area are fantastic. They give when they have nothing. That neighbor-helping-neighbor thing really happens around here. People know and greet you by name. When friends come to visit and we maybe run some errands, such as dropping off clothes at the dry cleaners, they stare as I just hand my clothes over and drive away. "Don't you need a ticket?" they ask. "Don't you need to give your name?" No, they know me.
When we first moved here, there was a historic home that had been converted into a gift shop. We had browsed the store one day before X-mas, and wanted to come back and buy a few items but the shop would close before we could get there from work. So the owner left the items we wanted out on the back porch and told us to just leave the money in an envelope when we came back. How often do you find that??
Getting back to the Humane Society, my point with all of this is that even though our county doesn't have much money, the spirit here is strong and I think great things can be done. People are always willing to help if you provide them with some passion and direction. Right now, abandoned animals taken in off the street are held an average of 3 days before they're put to sleep. That's unconscionable. We need a shelter where animals can be taken to and adopted from.
There was an article in today's paper that our county is trying to raise money for a homeless shelter. Would it be farfetched to suggest the two groups -- the Humane Society and the Feed the Homeless society--combine forces for one large building vs. trying to run 2 separate campaigns to raise money for land, supplies, and labor? The services could be run independently, but it seems to make more sense to work together and pool funds for one large building than to compete with one another. And who knows what sort of cooperative agreements could be worked out with funding, volunteers, etc?
What do you think? Am I missing something major for why that wouldn't work? Or is it an idea with potential?